By WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press
SECAUCUS, NJ (AP) – If you’ve turned on a TV in the past three years, chances are you’ve been inundated with advertisements for sports betting, and not just during game broadcasts.
Advertisements featuring an emperor speaking to the masses, a woman urging punters to “make it rain” and businesses enticing gamblers with the ability to turn a few dollars into a fortune cover the airwaves. Concern is starting to grow over how much is too much.
At the SBC Summit North America, a major international sports betting conference being held this week in northern New Jersey, industry players are expressing concern over a possible backlash they believe could lead to severe government restrictions on such advertising, as happened in Europe.
Bill Miller, president of the American Gaming Association – the gaming industry’s national trade association – called the current level of sports betting ads an “unsustainable arms race.”
âIs it boring? ” He asked. ” It’s too much ? It is an unbearable thing. “
Miller and others have warned that if the US sports betting industry does not restrict itself, it could fall victim to the same type of government regulations that an orgy of sports betting ads has sparked in Europe.
In the UK, teams are subject to a whistle-to-whistle ban on sports betting advertisements appearing during the broadcast of their matches. Italy has banned all gambling ads since 2019 and Spain has banned sports betting from advertising on player jerseys or appearing in stadium names. It also limits the display of advertisements for any other form of gambling to times between 1 and 5 a.m.
So far, the United States has not imposed such regulations on sports betting ads. And many in the industry want it to be so.
Jeff Fernandez, vice president of business and corporate development for the New York Jets, said the industry and its professional athletic partners must “make sure we don’t have to resort to a whistle ban like this. happening in UK. “
Joe Asher, president of sports betting for gaming technology company IGT, also warned of “a backlash from the advertising going on today and its excessive amount.”
It’s not something that lends itself to self-regulation, âsaid Asher, also the former CEO of gambling company William Hill. âI’m worried about when we get to this phase.
The Jets, like most other professional sports teams, widely promote their many sports betting partners during matches, including logos on the building, scorecard mentions and advertisements for a betting shop. sportsmen in the stadium.
One of the most frequent advertisers is Caesars Entertainment, whose commercials featuring an actor playing Caesar seem to be everywhere. At Thursday’s conference, Ken Fuchs, senior vice president of sports for Caesars Digital, echoed the caution the industry says it has about advertising.
âYou have to learn from the UK: you have to regulate yourself,â he said. âIt’s about how a customer interacts with Caesars as a brand. It’s not about yelling at people, âFree money! Free money! Free money! ‘ This is what exhausts people.
Johnny Avello, director of racing and sports betting operations for DraftKings, said his company’s current level of advertising is working as expected.
âI was at the (train) terminal in Hoboken yesterday and saw DraftKings on every kiosk and every wall,â he said. âAnd I think it’s effective. It works.”
PointsBet said advertising is necessary to attract new customers and retain existing customers.
âWe have taken a focused vision by listening to what our punters want and reaching them where they are,â said Kyle Christensen, chief marketing officer for the company. âOur philosophy is not to spend irrationally, but to be aggressive and disciplined. This has served us well, made our users happy, and will continue to be our focus as we look at future ad budgets. “
PointsBet launched two new commercials on Thursday featuring recently retired New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees teaching people how to live their “betting life.”
And on Thursday night, the NFL was scheduled to launch a responsible betting ad in the Dallas Cowboys-New Orleans Saints game, urging people to “only bet what you can afford.”
FanDuel and BetMGM, two other major advertisers, declined to comment. FanDuel has become the official provider of sports lines and betting odds for The Associated Press under a business deal starting in April 2021.
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